“On a sunny, warm day in August, 1996 I kneeled over the grave of P.T. Barnum and had one of the most remarkable experiences of my life.”
This was the opening of an article I recently read, written by Joe Vitale. The opening intrigued me. What he was doing here was creating anticipation. I was curious to know what this “most remarkable” experience was, and so I kept reading.
Previously on this blog we talked about creating anticipation in terms of telling them what you’re about to tell them… delay the telling… and then telling them. You can do this when you’re sharing stories and experiences as well.
Consider a few more examples…
- “Little did I know that the incredible, magical experience would change my life forever…”
- “Yet what happened that day was nothing compared to the shocking events that would take place a few days later…”
- “I didn’t realize at the time, but things were about to get ten times worse…”
One of the “ultimate” ways of using this technique is to start with the outcome of the story, and what it did for you (in terms that will benefit and interest the reader)… and then explain how you got there.
For example, this was the headline and first few paragraphs of Frank Kern’s sales letter for his $1,997 Mass Control product, and notice how many times he creates anticipation for what is to come:
They Call It Mass Control.
This Money-Getting System Has Been PROVEN Four Times In A Row, Bringing In OVER $23.8 MILLION Dollars… In Just Under 24 Hours
Here’s The True Story Of What Really Happened, How This Proven System Works, And How You Can Put It To Work For YOU.
You’re about to go deep inside the sometimes twisted world of the biggest launches in Internet Marketing History.
And listen, this is the real story… the true story that only I call tell you, because I’m the guy that made it all happen.
WARNING: This story gets ugly. Things get hairy and people get weird when millions of dollars start flying in…
First, he tells the outcome of the story in the headline (all the time relating it to how “you”, the reader, can “put it to work”), and then he creates anticipation by making promises about the story: “you’re about to go deep inside…”
In fact, he spends the entire first 3 pages of the sales letter just creating anticipation for the story! (I analyzed the entire sales letter in my Guru Report #2, which I’m keeping available for a short time).
So the “take home” lesson from this and the previous handful of blog posts is: create anticipation in everything you write – because the more you have them anticipating what’s to come, the more you have them “hooked”. (Use this on a blog in combination with my Arabian Nights technique, and you’ll have them subscribed, too!)
In the next blog post I’m finally going to reveal to you The Definitive Formula For The Length Of Your Sales Copy. Yes, there is one… I promise! It will be the post to end all long copy vs short copy debates. So if you don’t want to suffer the sinking feeling of having missed out, you’ll get yourself subscribed to my blog.